There is pretty much one reason why your soap will not help your skin and chances are leaving your skin feeling dry. A common feedback that I would get from customers is that they didn’t see any difference using the soap, then I ask one question how hot is your water when you shower?
Do you shower or take a bath in hot water?
That’s about it. That’s the biggest issue to why persons are having this problem. Why is this a problem? Hot water by its self has a tendency to strip the natural oils from your skin and pull out any other moisture that your soap may be trying to restore. Its just the way it works… but why.
Hot water relaxes your skin and actually opens your pores. This can be good to get dirt ours as we all believe but there are some unfortunate side effects of taking shower in that steamy hot water. With your pores wide open and your muscles relaxed you effectively are drying out your skin. Its why persons opt to steam fabric the problem is that its not noticeable right away well because your in the water.
With your pores wide open you feel better and your body feel relaxed but at the same time dirt is being washed away but you are also damaging your skin. Your skin is so relaxed that it begins to stretch a little, ever noticed how soft your skin feels right after a hot shower? That relaxation is because you skin is drooping and this can over time make you appear older.
What goes In and Out
A benefit that is still being studied is that any medicinal properties your soap may have has a better chance of entering your skin and eventually you body to work properly. This can be a good thing if you are treating some sort of skin issue however if you are not what else are you letting in to your body via your skin? We have discussed it before that commercial soaps use chemicals to reproduce the cleaning and lathering properties of natural soaps. Just as the medicinal properties can enter to your skin via the pores these chemicals can do the same. Again studies are still undergoing on if these chemicals cause cancer. Taking hot baths can be a catch 22 in that you want the good stuff in but keep the bad stuff out. The best way is to meet it half way and take cooler showers… not cold just something cooler.
Heat and Oils
To stay on track however we must look at the make up of natural soaps. The main ingredients are water, fats and lye. A chemical process converts all lye and fats and a bit of water to what is known as soap (there is no lye left in soap when made properly). Natural soaps are normally made with vegetable oils, so what happens when you put oil on a heated frying pan… It melts. Something similar is happening when you use hot water the free floating oils left in a soap which is meant to restore your skin melts directly off when you shower in the super hot water.
A byproduct of making soap is glycerin. Glycerin is known as a surfactant, in other words its a product that attracts moisture. Commercial soap companies have found a way to pause the soap making process to allow them to separate the glycerin from the soap and then they replace it with a chemical that mimics the properties of the glycerin. Some times I’ve heard persons say that their soap was to greasy, its this glycerin that they are referring to. Its not that they are greasy its often that the maker may have made a calculation mistake which caused excess oil and glycerin to be left in the soap, its not balanced. This would cause that oily feeling. This is not a bad thing however, think about this. When you finish taking a shower your next routine is usually to add lotion to your skin. Why is this? Its because you can feel that your skin is overly dry and it needs some moisture. That greasy feeling will subside as you move about as its the soap giving back moisture and oils to your skin.
What to do
These are a few reasons why your hot water could be negating the benefits of your natural soaps. Its recommended that you shower in lukewarm water or slightly colder water to help the oils adhere to your skin and draw moisture back to your skin while washing away dirt and grime. Many people do not like cold water but its good to mention that cold water restricts the pores hence in the long run you look younger and with the help of the natural moisturizer in the soap, give your skin a healthy glow. A better practice would be to shower in slightly cooler water than usual and 5 minutes before you finish you shower to switch to a colder stream of water to close your pores and tighten your skin.
There are a few other reasons why you may be negating your soap benefits including taking prolonged showers, and using the wrong type of soap for your skin. Take a look at this article for more information.